Creating a Seamless Pre-Checkout Customer Experience (and the Importance of Product Data)
Guest Article by Lucy McCormick, Content Marketing Manager at Pimberly
Whether you’re a Marketing Guru for an online fashion brand, or a Technical Product Manager for a leading manufacturer, creating a seamless customer experience (CX) is essential in helping you maintain a competitive edge in an ever-changing environment. Your product information lies at the heart of this CX, so a PIM (Product Information Management) platform is a great addition to any tech stack.
Digital transformation has been pivotal in helping businesses streamline day-to-day operations and do away with complicated manual processes. A powerful PIM gives you the power to automate large parts of the product information management process, enabling you to save precious time and resources to focus on other business objectives.
In this blog, we’re going to look at how product data and an effective PIM solution can give you the power to create a seamless customer experience from discovery, right through to decision-making. Be sure to check out the blog from our partners at Parcelhub on how to create a seamless customer experience post-checkout, too!
Why Product Data is Key to Creating Seamless Customer Experiences
Your products won’t be found anywhere near as easily unless they have published product data, images, videos and technical information – and if they can’t be found they can’t be bought. That’s just the basics too – leading eCommerce sites now employ a raft of advanced technology, such as AR, VR and 3D rendering to further enhance the customer experience.
Your Products in the Right Place, at the Right Time
We all know the feeling of frustration when you can’t quite find what you’re looking for online. Not only does it make for a disappointing experience, it also means you’re missing out on potential sales opportunities.
Your website acts as your “shop window” – this is where you get the chance to show off. So, there are important considerations around the general design and usability of your website. Breadcrumb navigation is a good option as customers can see their search journey and easily revisit previous pages they were looking at.
It’s also important to maintain good SEO rankings to make sure you’re getting your products in front of the right people at the right time. An effective PIM will help you achieve superior rankings as it’s easy to distribute keyword rich, unique product descriptions across all channels. Flexible workflows mean you can set automated approval processes, so you’ll never publish a product with missing information ever again.
Creating product hierarchies and categories will also improve the CX because you’re serving data in a way that makes sense to your customers. This will also go towards improving your SEO rankings as it is easier to crawl eCommerce websites with well-structured data.
Consistency is Key, as is Hyper-Personalisation
Consumers are savvier than ever and will often carry out in-depth research before buying a product, using various different channels. This is where you need to make sure the product information across all channels is consistent, providing a smooth transition for your customers.
Different channels and Marketplaces will have different requirements in terms of the product descriptions and accompanying digital assets. Some essential things to consider here would be to make sure you have comprehensive information on sizing guidelines for clothing. If you’re selling technical products, consider using automated product data sheets to give your customers that extra layer of product information.
When it comes to your digital assets, these can all be managed with the DAM (digital asset management) functionality in Pimberly. Having a variety of different product shots i.e., 360• views, lifestyle shots / user-generated shots, videos will improve your conversion rates as your customers will have a clear view of what they’re purchasing.
With Pimberly’s data mapping interface, you can easily determine how and when your product data will be distributed, as well as easily being able to scope the attributes that are pulled into the different channels. Create an unlimited number of workflows that enable you to set automated product updates and approvals, so your customers can always find your products regardless of the channel they’re browsing on.
Personalisation and Products Out Pronto
As your customers move through their online journey, it’s important that you make them feel special and valued. A great way of doing this is by taking personalisation one step further: Hyper-personalisation. This isn’t just about using personal details to add a user’s name onto the homepage of your website it’s also a case of looking at browsing history to determine what motivates your customers so you can show them products you know they’ll be interested in, for example knowing that a customer buys a lot of the colour code green and displaying that colour of clothing as a recommendation.
Another way of engaging with customers at this stage of the journey is to provide product reviews so they feel more informed in their decisions. Always make sure your product reviews are included on the product page and, by including personal details of the reviewer, you can further develop the relationship and relatability your customer has with that product.
Because Pimberly will largely automate the entire product information management process, you can easily and quickly add new product ranges or carry out updates with the bulk update functionality. This means your customers will always have access to the most up-to-date versions of your product ranges, and it’s also super easy to create product bundles and kits so they feel like they’re getting more out of their online experience.
If you operate across multiple regions, make sure you’re offering your customers a choice of languages to view the product description in. Again, localisation is made simple with Pimberly as you can store all translated product descriptions in one place and use the scoping feature to tailor your products to audiences in different countries.
Make it Easy (Like a Sunday Morning)
To carry on with the international theme, if you do operate across multiple regions, you need to make sure you’re offering the relevant payment methods in the relevant currencies. Like with your translated product descriptions, different currencies can also be stored in the Pimberly Platform. Research from last year showed that only highlighting returns information at checkout can be off-putting for customers so, to improve their experience and increase your conversion rates, make sure you’re clearly signposting your returns policy as early on in the buyer stage as possible. i.e., not at checkout!
Making payment should be easy, straightforward and clearly signposted to make sure your customers know which actions they should be taking and when. Have clear CTA buttons and give your customers the option to check-out as a guest so they don’t have to spend ages creating an online profile. If it’s a return customer, you should consider using an auto-fill option, so they don’t have to manually re-enter details you already hold for them. Having your site remember their details is also a nice personal touch for your customer.
The last thing to consider is the delivery options you provide. With the Pandemic, people are opting for more varied shipping solutions so, make sure you’re catering to a variety of customer requirements and make sure you have the ability to ship internationally, hassle-free!